Why Lightspeed is directing a $4.25M Granola Seed
The young business Granola has a bold goal to build the context-aware workspace of the future, and Lightspeed is announcing today that we will be leading a $4.25 million seed investment in Granola. London is where Granola is located. Chris Pedregal and Sam Stephenson founded the company Granola with the goal of revolutionising the way we all work by creating tools that fully understand who we are, anticipate what we’ll do next, and enhance our abilities. Despite the fact that Granola is still in its early stages, we believe that recent advancements in huge language models, Chris and Sam’s compelling future vision, and their best-in-class consumer product experience will enable the company to greatly advance how we all work.
But long before they had even come up with the concept for the product, we had faith in the Granola team. I first met Chris in NYC around ten years ago when I was establishing my business, Anchor, and he was establishing his prior venture, Socratic. We became friends because of our shared love of strong but user-friendly consumer products and the hyper-rapid iteration that allowed us to both hack our way to product market fit. Chris already had a clear vision for how technology could be used to advance human intelligence. In the instance of Socratic, it was through a mobile app that used computer vision and AI to assist students with their assignments. Chris and his team were able to develop an AI-first consumer product that offered genuine value to tens of millions of students and was ultimately bought by Google well before LLMs were the hottest thing in technology.
Chris occasionally gave me his ideas for brand-new consumer products in the years that followed. Most recently, he revealed that he and Sam Stephenson, another enthusiastic and knowledgeable product builder, were developing a new AI-powered solution. As we learned more about their concept and Sam, we came to the conclusion that the two would make an excellent team. Sam added design expertise to Chris’ strong product vision and consumer go-to-market cleverness to make difficult experiences not only approachable but also attractive. Sam also offered a compelling vision for how AI could be used to make “tools for thinking” more potent and simpler for consumer audiences to understand. The combination of these two entrepreneurs working on this product at this precise time might create a generational firm, it became evident when they showed us what they were doing.
With Granola, what precisely are Chris and Sam building? While we don’t want to give anything away, we can say that they are working on a revolutionary solution that will bring the magic of contemporary code editors (IDEs) to routine chores like taking notes at meetings, writing documents, setting up meetings, and responding to emails. Chris and Sam think that Granola can transform knowledge work by harnessing the potential of large language models (LLMs), making it as easy and exciting as coding with a contemporary IDE and GitHub CoPilot. They expect that “dumb text editors” will soon be a thing of the past as smart tools that automatically understand context, anticipate actions, and enhance skills take their place. We wholeheartedly concur with their opinion if the early product versions are any indication.
We’re also thrilled that Chris and Sam will be establishing Granola in their native London. At Lightspeed, we think London is soon becoming one of the world’s major centres for companies creating AI-first products. We can’t wait to see how Granola contributes to this expanding community as they put together a top-notch team at their new headquarters. To help shape the future of the business and the product, the team is now hiring a founding engineer.
We are entering a new era where intelligent tools enable us to realise our full potential and concentrate on what is most important. We think Chris and Sam’s product will have a significant impact on this future and are eager to witness its revolutionary effects in the years to come. Granola is poised to fundamentally alter how we work, communicate, and interact by bridging the gap between contemporary code editors and common tasks.